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Est. April 5, 2002
October 22, 2015 - Issue 626

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The Intifada in the Mirror

"The Palestinians have taken the greater
share of the losses…but they’re still fighting.
The Intifada is alive—and swelling.
Oppression does that."

You can feel the tremor…America knows it’s well overdue. Many have prophesied a “revolution,” but for all the wrong reasons. Many have mischaracterized the agents of change, but everyone agrees on the cause: injustice. What I know is that “no man embraces bondage.” I said that some years ago, as we Blacks in East Knoxville said collectively, “Enough is enough.” No matter where injustice may live, the intifada shall come.

Have you seen the news of late? The Jewish state of Israel is in a panic. At least eight Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in near-daily stabbing and shooting attacks over the past month. More than 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in clashes over that same period of time. Pundits are asking the insane question, “Where is this spike in violence coming from?” Get the [email protected]#$ outta here! The violence never stopped.

They forget the Palestinian rocket fire protesting the Israeli blockade of Gaza, or the subsequent onslaught of bombing in 2007 and 2009 as a “lesson” to the Palestinians. The killing of innocent humans shall always bring more violence. This time it’s different; this violence is local—in yo’ face—violence.

The thought of old ladies being sliced up on a bus, or a hack to the head on the way to the Synagogue simply terrifies the Israelis. But, why? Israelis have no intrepidness about dropping military-grade explosives on Palestinian children’s schoolyards. If this were to be called “an eye for an eye,” then I’d say only one party can still see. The Palestinians have taken the greater share of the losses…but they’re still fighting. The Intifada is alive—and swelling. Oppression does that.

When people’s land is snatched from them; when they are treated like children or collectively punished, anger builds, and acts of resistance occur. But here I posit, this Intifada is also happening in the Western hemisphere.

Black Americans are tired of living under threat and siege, as well. Though the resistance here is but a scratching of the surface; however, I believe I feel a shudder. Every week, another law enforcement authority meets his maker. And you ask, is it justified?

What’s happening is nothing that isn’t deserved. Let’s define what we’re talking about here: Intifada is an Arabic word—a noun literally meaning "tremor", "shivering", "shuddering." It is derived from an Arabic term nafada meaning "to shake", "shake off" or "get rid of." Israel has the Palestinians living—existing—under repressive rule. My country—the US—condones it, though she proudly claims to be “The Land of the Free.” Insane, huh?

Israel is building a 15-foot wall around a Palestinian neighborhood! What? And they think that’s going to make them safer? That’s only adding insult to injury. Didn’t the Israelis watch “The Women of Brewster Place?” Walls only make people more resolved to tear them down! Furthermore, why isn’t the US telling Israel to quit it?

Taking land, building new settlements, expanding old ones, blockading, bombing innocents, denying Palestinian sovereignty…after a while, any sensible person would think, “Damn, they’re going to burst one of these days.” Well, feel the earthquake…or at least the tremors. But as we look at the news of another Palestinian shot in the back by Israeli soldiers, look in the mirror. We’ve got our own tremors.

From the uprising in Ferguson to the resistance in Baltimore, these people of color are saying enough is enough…again and again and again. The older people are out of gas, yet their spirit is strong. The children are sick and tired of watching their elders suffer as the elders fight to protect them. The young people are channeling this misery and pain into resistant energy. Life or limb be damned! And one thing I’ve learned about white people is that they hate to feel uncomfortable; they could care less about making others uncomfortable (shall I say gentrification, Jim Crow, slave ships?).

Just know that Palestine isn’t the only tremor happening. Just look in the mirror; a shudder is occurring in your backyard. Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.

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